October 1, 2014

Elyria
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First feral cat committee meeting approaching

NORTH RIDGEVILLE – William Snyder has no idea how many people to expect for the first meeting of the city’s fledgling Citizens Advisory Committee being formed to deal with the city’s feral cat problem.

The meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 8 at the North Ridgeville Library.

Snyder, 78, who will chair the group, wants to make sure the group focuses on positive solutions.

“My agenda is not going back to grind an ax,” Snyder said. “That’s a waste of my time and everyone else’s. I’m into what we do from Oct. 8 forward. We do not want this to become a polarizing situation.”

The meeting is the first major step since Mayor David Gillock announced in July that the city would no longer send police or humane officers to handle calls involving feral cats.

That change came in response to an explosive community backlash that followed the June 10 shooting of five feral kittens by Humane Officer Barry Accorti who answered a resident’s call for assistance in ridding her property of a mother cat and its offspring.

Dozens of upset residents and others demanded Accorti’s dismissal at fiery council meetings. Thousands more signed online petitions circulated by animal advocate groups.

The state’s SPCA also threatened legal action if Accorti was not fired.

Police Chief Michael Freeman exonerated Accorti of wrongdoing, but Gillock and members of City Council said the matter should have been handled better, especially when it came to communication between Accorti and the homeowner over the actions he planned to take.

A retired Sherwin-Williams paint company employee and former Friendship APL board member, Snyder has commitments from Gillock and Freeman to attend the committee’s initial meeting.

Greg Willey, director of the Friendship APL, will also be on hand to offer suggestions and guidance.

As to what course the committee will take, Snyder plans to let discussions determine “what agenda items we want to pursue and in what order.”

“The first priority is to get people involved,” he said.

Snyder said he’d most like to see North Ridgeville emulate the success of Elyria, which recently paired up with the Friendship APL to try and revive a trap-neuter-release program to deal with Elyria’s estimated 14,000 stray and feral cats.

“Why re-invent the wheel when you’ve already got one that’s rolling?” Snyder said. “I can’t see why we couldn’t get the same type of support.”

Elyria has applied for a grant that could amount to $50,000 through a program offered by Petsmart.

“All cities have this problem,” Snyder said. “It’s not just us by any means.”

North Ridgeville officials have said the city will make animal traps available to residents who ask for them.

“If we can start reducing the sheer numbers of cats, one day we may get to a manageable level,” Snyder said.

Contact Steve Fogarty at 329-7146 or sfogarty@chroniclet.com.


  • Sarita

    Open Season! $5 a tail.

    • Arietta Sullivan

      the old saying goes..if a human can hurt an animal then they are capable of hurting another human,if not physically then mentally.i’m content to say i’m glad i don’t know you&you’re not in my life.

      • Spec440

        I’ve never heard that old saying before. I think you’re making things up now.

        • Arietta Sullivan

          omg lol wow..well go to a psychologist&they’ll give you the same diagnosis

      • stillsleepyeyes

        I’m presuming that goes for the chickens, cows, pigs, and every other food source too.

        • Arietta Sullivan

          last i knew..i don’t eat cats.i’m not talking about the sources of food that we all have to survive on,i’m talking of ‘pets’.use commonsense.

  • Bob Haas

    How do you suppose they pick the president of the Feral Cat Committee? All in favor of Alley McCat signify by raising a paw right meow. :)

  • Bonnie Pickett

    I have a mother cat and two of her kittens going into my garage and tearing open garbage and now the mother cat has had a new litter in the empty garage next to my house. You can’t catch them and APL doesn’t want them. THey say to quit feeding them but the poor things are meowing constantly and starving to death.

  • Arietta Sullivan

    i think this subject has gone way overboard.in all my years of beginning to walk&talk,a feral cat won’t attack,unless like any other animal,be provoked.they are scared of humans&will run(i don’t blame them,look at the idiot comment below).i do agree that,once a neighborhood,gets too many strays&ferals,that they become a nuisance for all of us.the trap-neutered-release program would help out alot. if you think about it,once a cat owner,lets their domestic cat become a stray,accidentally or not,it leads to the stray,of course,to get pregnant&have a liter too by a feral or another stray&next thing you know.a neighborhood,can be flooded with strays&ferals. the irresponsibility of a human is being blamed,once again,on an innocent animal.if you can’t take care of your animals like they are a child to you then don’t own one.

    • Melissa Merrill Snyder

      I feed one feral in my neighborhood…apparently a male from the smell of male spray. He’ll be getting trapped soon and taken to be altered (I’m covering it). He doesn’t really bother anyone and is scared of humans but he’s a great mouser (lots of trees in our neighborhood and a few mice to go with them) and we reward him with daily food and fresh water. He’ll have a warm, dry place to sleep for winter too if he chooses..
      TNR works, but the responsibility has to be taken by someone. In my case, I’m willing to cover it so we’ll have a healthy feral that will (hopefully) quit spraying by my door!

      • Arietta Sullivan

        yea male cats are very territorial animals,fixed or not but ferals do help out more then what people notices..

        • Melissa Merrill Snyder

          And it doesn’t help that I have a territorial Bengal male inside…fixed of course!

          • Arietta Sullivan

            right..my female cats are fixed&lives indoors&though i love animals,but at times,i have to chase the outside animals away or my house would be a stink bomb.female cats will literally mark their territory too but not as bad as a tomcat.i,personally,do not feed outside animals cause they’ll keep coming back&bring their friends&the wildlife animals..skunks,raccoons,etc but you’re doing a kind act out of choice&taking responsibility of calling that feral,your cat.beautiful heart.God Bless

  • Spec440

    This is a feel good waste of time. Nothing will change. Ridiculous.

  • jedderm

    TNR….

  • stop ur whining

    cant wait for a year or two when i read the head line “Feral cat population in Ridgeville angers citizens” catch and release will take years to curb a problem that is already a massive nuisance to say the least. I will remember all the bleeding hearts for these monsters when you have crap in your flower beds, sick dogs, sick children, and garbage all over your neighborhoods. Acorti should have been given a medal for doing what needed to be done. You really want to stop the feral cat problem humanely? be a good pet owner and keep you cat indoors and only outside on a leash. every time i see a cat in the road i speed up. it is called responsibility people. try using your heads and teach your kids that a pet is to be cared for and not let to roam the neighborhood and be a nuisance. People on Denise Drive….i am talkin to you!

    • Arietta Sullivan

      i agree with you on keeping pets indoors&if outside,on a leash but i don’t agree with intentionally hurting and or killing an animal just because of irresponsible humans.

      • stop ur whining

        its called thinning the heard. an unfortunate but necessary part of life. Like my dad used to say, if you love something…take care of it.

        • Arietta Sullivan

          the heard is thin out,by being a responsible human&get your pet fix.the wildlife is a different story,when it comes to ‘thinning out the heard’. we have billions&billions of humans that keeps giving birth&not take care of their ‘heard’,so do we go off&kill people just to thin out the population? your opinion will be your opinion&mine will be mine.the story has been in the past,personally,time for me to move on,in life.i’m just happy my 2 cats are fixed&indoors,i do my part cause i love them.

          • Arietta Sullivan

            *** & not take care of their ‘heard’,so do we go off&kill people just to thin out the population? i meant to say the word ‘not’

          • stop ur whining

            humans are the only species on earth that doesn’t thin the heard. maybe we should. fixing your pet is not the answer. you are doing the right thing, you care for your pet and love it. but there are far too many that just let their precious roam the neighborhood. they spread disease!! congrats to you on being a great owner, hopefully more people think like you. But i doubt it.